Managerial assessments of export performance: What do they reflect?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Business Review. 2017, . 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2017.09.005
Export performance is often measured by managers’ subjective assessments, but little is known about what such assessments reflect. This article addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing the association between subjective and objective measures of export performance. We examined which aspects managers take into consideration when subjectively assessing the export performance of their firm. We also examined whether managers’ assessments had any predictive power concerning the future development of their firm’s export sales. Our empirical evidence is based on Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises operating mainly in business-to business markets. Our analyses show that managers’ subjective assessment of export performance at the firm level is significantly associated with the percentage of the total firm sales that are exported. This is true for assessments of economic as well as non-economic performance. Subjective assessments, however, were not associated with actual export sales levels or with export growth.